Why pope will be remembered for generations
Pope Benedict XVI, pictured in a 2005 World Youth Day Mass in Germany, will go down in history for more than his resignation.
February 11th, 2013
04:42 PM ET

Why pope will be remembered for generations

By Timothy Stanley, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for Britain's The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of "The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan."

(CNN) - Journalists have a habit of calling too many things "historic" - but on this occasion, the word is appropriate. The Roman Catholic Church is run like an elected monarchy, and popes are supposed to rule until death; no pope has stepped down since 1415.

Therefore, it almost feels like a concession to the modern world to read that Benedict XVI is retiring on grounds of ill health, as if he were a CEO rather than God's man on Earth. That's highly ironic considering that Benedict will be remembered as perhaps the most "conservative" pope since the 1950s - a leader who tried to assert theological principle over fashionable compromise.

The word "conservative" is actually misleading, and the monk who received me into the Catholic Church in 2006 - roughly a year after Benedict began his pontificate - would be appalled to read me using it. In Catholicism, there is no right or left but only orthodoxy and error. As such, Benedict would understand the more controversial stances that he took as pope not as "turning back the clock" but as asserting a living tradition that had become undervalued within the church. His success in this regard will be felt for generations to come.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

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soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. dog trainer

    Hi, thanks for sharing. dog trainer http://sgloanbook.com/

    April 9, 2013 at 6:31 am |
  2. Esilef

    AvdBerg, go and spread your fundamentalist propaganda elsewhere! what are you – jehovah witness, mormon? If you have nothing to contribute to the issue being raised by the article then please spare yourself and the rest of us by keeping your propaganda to yourself! Since you're so keen on the bible, do you know how the bible came about? That book did not fall out of the sky. It has a long and complex history, some of it not very holy at all. I've studied the book you referred to (Revelation) for more than 20 years, even wrote a PhD dissertation on it. And if there's one thing that I've come to realize to be always wrong – it's people using the book to serve their own so-called 'prophecies' about the world and its future. Nothing could be further from the truth!

    February 14, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  3. I've always wondered

    What does a pope do?

    February 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Any little boy he can get his hands on.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • A son of God

      Acts 17:24 and other verses in the Holy Bible tells the world that God DOES NOT DWELL IN TEMPLES MADE BY HANDS OF MAN.

      HYPOCRITES that worship Satan, call Satan, 'God', in hand made temples. They say God is LYING and tell their members that 'God is in their heart' and He cannot prove that He is not in their heart to other people on earth and use their LIES as a great tactic to trick others into their house, where the throne of Satan is.

      When they reach the ABYSS, they will know who I am.

      All RELIGIONS are the best instruments of Satan on earth.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • clarity

      More gibberish from Gullible's Travels, Part 2, courtesy of Chatty Cathy Paul.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • A son of God

      In the book of Acts 17:24 in the Holy Bible, it says "God who made the world and all things in it, is Lord of heaven and earth, DOES NOT DWELL IN TEMPLES MADE BY HANDS. Those that worship the SATAN in them say that God is LYING because God is in their heart. Jesus tells them in Matthew 15:7-9 that their HEART is FAR AWAY FROM HIM but they trick their HYPOCRITE CONGREGATION into believing them instead of the inspired words of God. They make the Holy Bible say what YOU want it to say and YOU will believe EVERY LIE THEY TELL. Tell me if God was OUT OF CONTEXT in Luke 14:26 and what LIE did your pastor say God meant instead of what He said?

      May 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • A son of God

      RELIGION IS LIKE A ROACH. YOU CAN'T GET RID OF THEM. Matthew 24:2, Acts 17:24, etc.

      October 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  4. Che Kowalski

    Anyone who writes about someone like Buchanan obviously has no opinion worth reading about. This must be a paid article.

    February 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  5. AvdBerg

    The church hierarchy refers to the Pope as 'Holy Father', while the Word of God teaches us to call no man your father upon the earth (Matthew 23:9). The Pope was never appointed by God but rather by men and a quick study of the Papal Office will confirm that it is not 'Holy' at all.

    For a better understanding of the history of the Papacy and the spirit the Pope serves we invite you to read the articles 'Papal Infallibility, Contradictions and Spiritual Blindness', 'The Mystery Babylon' and 'Popes and the Princes of This World', listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7)

    February 12, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • saggyroy

      "The Pope was never appointed by God but rather by men..." – and the bible was never written by god but by men.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:29 am |

      This poster is a TROLL on this site, they are proven liars and are only here to sell their book and website for their cult.

      Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Answer

      "while the Word of God teaches us to call no man your father upon the earth"

      Answer: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/call-no-man-father

      February 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • clarity

      It's pretty obvious that the author or Revelation was a substance abuser.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.